Oversubscription of the Hard
In 2016 the Harbour Board introduced a new system for dinghy berth allocation. Previously, invoices were issued on the basis that there was sufficient space at the harbour to accommodate all applicants. So the payment of an invoice, the issue of a receipt in terms of a Licence Label for each boat licensed, and the take-up of a berth on the hard was straightforward. But with the prospect of dinghy & small-craft berth demand outstripping available space the Harbour Board did not wish to become the arbiter of who achieved a berth.
So now, payment of invoices for the berthing of sailing dinghies, kayaks, canoes & paddleboards is no longer on that basis, but will simply register an application for a berth. The issuing of a License Label at invoicing is no longer a guarantee that there will be space for that vessel at the harbour. The allocation of berths is now on a physical ‘first-come, first-served’ basis once the Harbour is declared OPEN to the summer fleet by the Harbour Board. A few days after the cruisers are craned afloat and working parties have refreshed the area, the harbour will be declared ‘Open’ for small craft to return to the hard. At some later stage (days rather than weeks), the Harbour Board will declare the harbour ‘Full’, after which no further dinghies may be brought to the harbour until further notice. Owners who fail to obtain a berth will have their fees refunded. There shall be no mechanism for reserving space for vessels.
Thus the pressure on berths for sailing dinghies during the summer means that the onus falls on Members to reassess their requirements for dinghy berthing at the harbour. Do you & your family sail so frequently that you need more than one dinghy? If not, can you cope with one & use a Club boat occasionally? If you only sailed a very few times last season, should you be denying a berth to another? How about just using one of the Sailing Club boats instead?
The Harbour Board has also addressed a tendency for the berthing of inflatable tenders to encroach on the central dinghy berthing area. From now on, only sailing dinghies will be permitted in this area, with tenders including inflatables & other craft restricted to the peripheral outer edges of the dry-berthing area, the racks & the reclaimed north-western extension of the berthing area (called “Ted’s Folly”) & any other available berthing area, such as on the beach or in the wet harbour.
All vessels on Harbour Board territory shall be kept in serviceable condition. Flaccid inflatables & rain-filled hulls cause problems for others. Persistent offending owners may lose their membership.
Kayaks / Canoes / Paddleboards are eligible to apply for licensing. The requirement to apply current licence labels applies equally to them. Without license labels, your membership is in jeopardy.
For clarification of this policy, please contact the Membership Secretary email@example.com
There were a number of misunderstandings of the comparatively minor changes to the way in which the summer dinghy parking is organised. Let me explain the reasons behind the change.
For the past few years we have issued invoices at the beginning of the season to those who held licenses for the previous. This saved both parties, the Harbour Board and members of the Association, from the extra labour of having to reapply for a license every year but it has suffered from one problem. We sent the invoices out, about 80% of members took up the new license and paid for it and occupied a berth before the deadline - the remaining 20% either didn't pay or paid but didn’t take up a berth. The Board was left in the increasingly difficult position of having to check who is "in" and who is not which is one of the reasons we insist that all owners place the license disc on their vessel the moment their vessel(s) arrive at the Harbour. These 20% of uncooperative members also saddle us with the problem of being unable to reallocate unused space which only increases the waiting list.
So we are now saying that from the day the park is declared open (and NOT before) members may bring their vessels to the hard standing. The new system should motivate our members to occupy the space promptly. Members who are late will not have a place and will be reimbursed any fee that they have paid. If we do not do this we will have to ask all members to reapply for their license every year so that we can match demand to capacity before we distribute the vessel licenses.
We anticipate that the positioning of each vessel type will follow last year's plan subject only to the terms of your license, but during the first few weeks of the season, the Board retains the right to move any vessel and to alter the placing of classes of vessel to maximise efficient use of the hard. We are storing more dinghies than ever before.
In the interests of avoiding confusion, the dinghy park, like all land owned by the Association, will be managed by the Board.
Chairman, Harbour Board January 2016
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